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Volume 441: debated on Wednesday 6 August 1947

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Food Situation


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has considered the report recently sent to him on the food situation in Germany and the effects of an increased supply that could be obtained locally by allowing a greater production of nitrogen fertilisers; and whether he will take effective action accordingly as a means of avoiding the present gradual starvation of the population.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for this report, which is now being studied. Every effort is being made to increase production of nitrogen fertilisers in the Combined zones, and as much as possible is imported from overseas under allocations made by the International Emergency Food Council.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what food from local production in the British zone of Germany is being taken for consumption by members of the Control Commission for Germany or Armed Forces; and whether he will confirm that none whatsoever has been, or is being, exported from Germany to England.

Members of the Control Commission for Germany, and of the British Armed Forces are strictly forbidden to take any food from local German production for their own consumption; no German foodstuff has been, or is being, exported from Germany to this country.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that rumour has been rife in Germany that food has been exported? Will he take special steps to see that this answer is widely publicised in Germany?

I will Jake steps to publicise it widely, but I must deprecate the constant attempt to make suggestions about our staff in Germany. I would ask hon. Members to give us precise details, rather than throwing innuendoes.

Control Commission (British Personnel)


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will now state his intention with respect to the progressive reduction of the number of British personnel employed by the Control Commission for Germany.

The strength of the British element of the Control Commission will be progressively reduced as fast as the tasks to be carried out allow.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the target for reduction of plant of the former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has not yet been achieved, although it was promised for February this year? Can he promise greater progress?

I am progressively reducing it, but at the same time I am constantly urged to take on other duties in the re- organisation of Germany, and, therefore, I have to balance the claims made on me against the reduction.

Reparations (Capital Goods)


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what date has now been fixed by which capital goods for reparations from Germany must be specified, in place of 15th February, 1946, fixed at Potsdam.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Potsdam Declaration made it quite clear that goods for capital reparation should be fixed by 15th February, 1946, and now more than a year has passed and there is no definition yet? When is a decision going to be taken?

I have made it clear, and if my hon. Friend had been in his place during the Debate on Monday, he would have heard the whole of the facts in relation to this, but I am afraid I cannot give another detailed answer today.

Is it true that this taking away of capital goods for reparations is still going on? That question was not answered.

I made it perfectly clear on Monday that capital goods were being dismantled and removed from Germany by June, 1948, but, owing to the new level of industry, Categories 2, 3 and 4 were being revised.

The goods I am referring to were goods which were not being destroyed because they were war potential, but capital goods sent away for reparations?

I made it clear that there were two categories. One was war potential, and the second was reparations under Categories 2, 3 and 4, surplus to the requirements of Germany, and if the right hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. H. Macmillan) will read the speech in HANSARD he will see that I was perfectly clear.